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Working with Contrast, Color, and Detail

Our eyes are attracted to contrast, color, and detail. By accentuating these image attributes you can draw a viewer's eye toward the important parts of a portrait. Conversely, by reducing them you are creating areas that are less interesting to look at. What are the most important attributes of a portrait? Usually it's the person's eyes and then the mouth. By increasing the contrast, color, and detail in these areas you can draw the viewer's attention to the portrait's eyes and mouth. On the other hand, most people don't want you to look at or see every single pore, facial blemish, or wrinkle. By reducing the contrast, color, and detail of these less-appealing areas, you give the eye less to notice. While you are retouching, keep contrast, color, and detail in the back of your mind. Work with them to emphasize the important areas of the portrait or to take away attention from the unimportant areas.

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